LEED Tipsheets

Design and implementation strategies can help you understand how to reach the goals defined in LEED credits.

About LEED and LEED Professional Accreditation

The Cost of LEED Certification

How much does LEED certification cost? "The Cost of LEED" report explores credit-by-credit details relevant to any project.

LEED v4 Explained in Two Pages

LEED v4 is here. The deadline to register for LEED 2009 passed in October 2016. Already-registered LEED 2009 projects have till June 30, 2021 to submit for certification or upgrade to LEED v4. The most noteworthy changes in LEED v4 are explained here.

Essential LEED Interpretations, Addenda, and Rating System Updates

LEED Interpretations, or LIs, are precedent-setting updates to the LEED rating systems that can be used by all projects. Project teams are required to adhere to both LEED rating system addenda and LEED Interpretations issue before a project's LEED registration date. LEED Interpretations and addenda issued after a project's registration date are optional. We review the key ones here every quarter.

LEED Online Status Updates

Here's a status report on LEED Online and digests of recent updates.

LEED-Credit-Specific Strategies

Product Libraries To Help You Achieve LEED v4 Material Credits

Designers looking for materials that meet the requirements of LEED v4 will quickly find that there are an incredible number of standards, hazard lists, screening tools, product certifications, certification bodies, and databases out there. Here's a guide to key libraries and databases.

Determining Farmland or Floodplain Classification for SSc1

These steps can be used to document whether your LEED project site is classified as farmland or as floodplain relative to the requirements for SSc1 in NC v2009, CS, and Schools rating systems.

How to Document SSc2 with Map Data

This page gives guidance on documenting SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity. For background, see the LEEDuser credit page—NC v2009, CS, CI, or Schools versions.

Air Sealing Guidance for LEED D&C IEQp2

If smoking will be allowed in parts of the building, use good air sealing to stop transfer of ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. and pass the required blower door tests.

Product Certification and Testing for LEED for Schools IEQc4.1–4.4 and IEQc4.6

Since there are a limited number of products that meet the standards of these credits, project teams may want to arrange to have products tested by labs. Refer to guidance on that process here.

Product Certification and Testing for LEED for Schools IEQc4.5 and LEED-CI IEQc4.5

Project teams can choose to test and certify products for their projects. There's information on doing that here.

School as a Teaching Tool Curriculum Ideas

This document is intended to provide teachers with a starting point for the curriculum assembled for LEED for Schools IDc3: The School as a Teaching Tool.

Performing LEED Green Power Calculations

To calculate your project’s required green power purchase quantity for the Green Power credit, choose one of the methods shown here.

LEED-EBOM Strategies

A Guide to Commissioning and Auditing Credentials

Understand the range of professional certifications available for professionals who can do commissioning and audits.

Air Sealing Guidance for LEED-EBOM IEQp2

If smoking will be allowed in parts of the building, use good air sealing to stop transfer of ETS and pass the required blower door tests.

Guide to Sustainable Food Certifications

This guide to sustainable food certifications will help with finding products earning LEED-EBOM MRc5: Sustainable Purchasing—Food.

Environmental Best Practices for Deicer Application

Use this strategy page to support compliance with the deicing component of LEED-EBOM SSc2: Building Exterior and Hardscape Management Plan, or simply as a guide to best pratices for deicing at your facility. See that credit page for additional guidance and resources.

Exemplary Performance Approaches for EBOM IOc1

Use this list as a guide to Exemplary Performance approaches that are available through IOc1, Path 2. The list is sorted by ease of achievement, from credits that are more commonly achieved, to moderate difficulty, to credits that are considered tougher.

Doing the Alternative Commuting Transportation Survey

SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation, focuses on documenting your building occupants’ use of alternative transportation modes for commuting to and from the project building. Option 3 allows you to comply with the credit requirements by conducting a survey of your regular building occupants’ commuting behavior over a five-day period. In practice, the majority of project teams who attempt this credit do so with the commuter survey.

Locating 2-year, 24-hour rainfall intensity values for EBOM SSc6

Use this step-by-step guide to find the data you need for this credit.

Step by Step Calculations for EBOM EAc4: Onsite and Off-Site Renewable Energy

Use this sample method to guide your project in calculating the necessary level of onsite renewable energy production or off-site renewable energy purchase. If you are already producing or purchasing renewable energy, you can use these steps to determine how many points you’re earning on this credit.

EBOM IEQc3.3 Product Finder

Use this guide to find cleaning products that are compliant with the various sustainability criteria used for IEQc3.3: Green Cleaning—Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials.

Solid Waste Source Reduction Tips

Use the following tips to help divert solid waste from landfill or incineration, and increase recycling rates—contributing to more environmentally friendly operations and several LEED-EBOM credits.

Waste Stream Audit Protocol

This protocol will help you comply with the LEED-EBOM credit MRc6: Solid Waste Management—Waste Stream Audit. It can be useful in any situation where you want to establish a baseline for the types and quantities of waste leaving your  building.

Performing LEED Green Power Calculations

To calculate your project’s required green power purchase quantity for the Green Power credit, choose one of the methods shown here.

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